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Economy & Politics

Over $17bn raised from bonds by Nigeria and other African countries – World bank

The World Bank has reported that Nigeria, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and other sub-Saharan African countries raised over $17 billion from bond issuances in 2018.

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Nigeria, others raise over $17bn from bonds, says World Bank

The World Bank has reported that Nigeria, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, and other sub-Saharan African countries raised over $17 billion from bond issuances in 2018. This was described as a landmark development by the global development bank.

This information is contained in a report titled “Africa Pulse”, which was produced by the Office of the Chief Economist for the African Region at The World Bank. The report was recently released during The World Bank‘s joint spring meeting with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

During the meeting, The World bank revealed that over $17 billion had been raised from bonds by sub-Saharan African countries. The World Bank and the IMF also warned these countries to be mindful of their increasing debt vulnerabilities.

2018 marked a record year for international bond issuances: According to The World Bank, 2018 marked a record year for international bond issuances in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2013 and 2017, countries in the region (excluding upper-middle-income countries) issued, on average, a total of $4.5 billion per year, with an average issuance size of $1 billion.

The World Bank went further to disclose that in 2018, bond issuances totalled more than $17 billion, with the average issuance rising to nearly $3 billion.

In addition to the increase in issuance volumes, several countries (including Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Kenya) were able to extend maturities to 30 years.

Nigeria received over $9.5bn for its $2.86bn Eurobond: The Federal Government of Nigeria, in November 2018, said it received a combined offer of over $9.5 billion for its $2.86 billion Eurobond. The bond represents Nigeria’s sixth Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011, 2013, two in 2017 and one in early 2018 and its first triple-tranche offering.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance noted that the offer comprised of $1.18 billion seven-year series, $1 billion 12-year series and a $750 million 30-year series.

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It also mentioned that the Government intends to use the proceeds of the bond to fund its fiscal deficit and other financing needs.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of fiance, also stated during a ministerial briefing at the World Bank/IMF spring meetings that Nigeria will issue N15 billion green bond later in the year after successfully raising N10.92 billion in December 2018.

Nigerian bond market is attractive to investors: According to CBN‘s Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria attracted bonds worth $6 billion after the elections, a sign that the Nigerian bond market remains attractive to investors.

He continued that following the successful conduct of the general elections in February 2019, over $6bn has come into the local bond market, indicating continued confidence in the strength of the Nigerian economy by investors.

He further added that Nigeria’s bond has continued to top the chart due to the stability of the Investors and Exporters’ FX Window rate and the yields being high by emerging-market standards.

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Things might get worse if proceeds are not probably managed: In as much as things are moving on well now for many African countries regarding their bond issuances, The World Bank had warned sub-Saharan African countries of increasing debt levels and its attendant vulnerabilities.

According to the Africa’s Pulse reports, as of end-2018, nearly half of the countries in sub-Saharan African covered under the Low-Income Country Debt Sustainability Framework were at high risk of debt distress or in debt distress, more than double the number in 2013. In addition, safety margins have decreased in several countries rated as at moderate risk of debt distress.

During the Global Financial Stability Report at the spring meetings, the Financial Counsellor and Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF, Tobias Adrian said;

“Nigeria has been borrowing in international markets but we worry. So, on the one hand, that is very good because it allows Nigeria to invest more; but on the other hand, we do worry about rollover risks going forward.

“At the moment, funding conditions in economies such as Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries are very favourable but that might change at some point. And there is a risk of rollovers and there is the risk of whether these needs for refinancing can be met in the future.”

The finance minister said there was no cause for alarm, since the country’s total debt profile as of December 31, 2018, stood at N24.387 trillion.

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Economy & Politics

Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The meetings are set to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

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Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The Federal Government announced the launch of town hall meetings to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, themed “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”

What the Minister is saying

“The correct starting point towards addressing these myriads of problems is the building of an “elite consensus” on the security, unity, indissolubility, and peaceful existence of Nigeria.

“Such elite consensus had worked in the past. Can we make it work now and proffer solutions in order to stave off the threats to our unity as a nation?” he said.

The Minister disclosed that the meetings are necessary to bring all critical stakeholders together to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward.

“We expect this Town Hall meeting to develop concrete, implementable resolutions because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.”

In case you missed it 

  • Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar warned that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising youth unemployment. He urged Nigeria to tackle out-of-school children cases, pay a monthly stipend to poorer families, incorporate youths who are above school age into massive public works programmes and others.
  • Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

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Business

IMF lifts 2021 global GDP growth to 6%

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries.

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Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss hints at 'synchronized slowdown' in global growth , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria worse off, posts grows lower than LIDC benchmark - IMF, Measures introduced by Nigeria to ensure transparent use of the $3.4b IMF loan

The International Monetary Fund has lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disclosure was made on the organisation’s website on Tuesday.

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliance on tourism do less well.

READ: Corruption erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief – IMF

What the IMF is saying

“The upgrades in global growth for 2021 and 2022 are mainly due to upgrades for advanced economies, particularly to a sizeable upgrade for the United States (1.3 percentage points) that is expected to grow at 6.4 percent this year.

This makes the United States the only large economy projected to surpass the level of GDP it was forecast to have in 2022 in the absence of this pandemic.

China is projected to grow this year at 8.4 percent. While China’s economy had already returned to pre-pandemic GDP in 2020, many other countries are not expected to do so until 2023.”

READ: Nigeria needs structural and monetary policy reforms to unlock potential – IMF

On divergent recoveries 

The IMF stated that divergent recovery paths are likely to create wider gaps in living standards across countries compared to pre-pandemic expectations.

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“The average annual loss in per capita GDP over 2020–24, relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, is projected to be 5.7 percent in low-income countries and 4.7 percent in emerging markets, while in advanced economies the losses are expected to be smaller at 2.3 percent,” they said.

“Faster progress with vaccinations can uplift the forecast, while a more prolonged pandemic with virus variants that evade vaccines can lead to a sharp downgrade. Multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways.

For Africa, IMF forecasts economic growth of 3.4% in 2021 and 4% by 2022, Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% by 2022, while South Africa is projected to hit growths of 3.1% and 2.0% for the respective years in focus.

READ: The 4th industrial revolution and the birth of a new international monetary system

In case you missed it 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  identified some factors that hamper the economic recovery of low-income countries from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, factors including access to vaccines, limited policy space to respond to the crisis, the lack of means for extra spending, pre-existing vulnerabilities such as high levels of public debt in many low-income countries and sometimes weak, negative, total factor productivity performance in some low-income countries. These factors continue to act as a drag on growth.

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